Facebook removes Google+ ad

Facebook has removed a Google+ ad, and banned the creator from putting ads on the social network altogether.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Web developer Michael Lee Johnson decided he wanted to quickly grow his number of Google+ friends. The best place to find people willing to friend you is of course Facebook, so Johnson ran a Facebook ad asking people to add him to their Circles on Google+. Facebook was not amused.

The ad was headlined "Add Michael to Google+." It was short and to the point: "If you're lucky enough to have a Google+ account, add Michael Lee Johnson, Internet Geek, App Developer, Technological Virtuoso."

Facebook removed his ad, and banned him from running ads on the social network altogether. Johnson posted the following via his Google+ account (via TechCrunch):

LOL: I recently ran a Google+ advertisement on Facebook that got all of my campaigns suspended. - Great.

Facebook sent him the following message explaining why the ad was removed:

Your account has been disabled. All of your adverts have been stopped and should not be run again on the site under any circumstances. Generally, we disable an account if too many of its adverts violate our Terms of Use or Advertising guidelines. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with the specific violations that have been deemed abusive. Please review our Terms of Use and Advertising guidelines if you have any further questions.

Since Facebook doesn't say, it's not clear which rule – actually it could have been more than one – Johnson broke. It is worth noting, however, that the company has a Refusal of Ads clause in the Facebook Advertising Guidelines:

We may refuse ads at any time for any reason, including our determination that they promote competing products or services or negatively affect our business or relationship with our users.

There's nothing wrong with a company having guidelines that are as beneficial to it as possible. Still, I don't think Facebook should have killed all of Johnson's ad campaigns.

See also:

Editorial standards